Shorten claims the government is in crisis over Joyce affair

UPDATE @ 12:20 PM

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says the Coalition is in crisis after a spat between Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull.

Earlier today, Mr Joyce criticised Mr Turnbull for his comments on his affair with a former staffer.


Mr Shorten said it’s clear there is a crisis in the Liberal and National Party.

“It is a full-blown political crisis, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister are at war with each other,” he said.

“This crisis cannot be allowed to continue, Mr Turnbull must sack his Deputy Prime Minister from the cabinet.”

He added the way the two men were behaving was an indication they are not fit for the high office they hold.

EARLIER @ 11:15 AM

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has hit back at the Prime Minister’s comments over his affair.

Mr Joyce addressed Malcolm Turnbull’s criticism at a media conference this morning, and said they were “inept” and “unnecessary”.

“(The comments) caused further harm,” Mr Joyce said.

“I believe they were in many instances inept, and most definitely in many circumstances unnecessary.”

The Nationals Leader reiterated he was sorry for the hurt he caused his family and political party.

Mr Joyce added he would support the new ministerial code of conduct, which bans MPs from having sexual relations with their staffers, but said it would create a media frenzy.

“It is the Prime Minister’s code, we will support it, and we will do our best endeavours to see it through,” he said.

“It goes without saying this will create immense fodder for the good people in the media and it will obviously reverberate across all political parties.”

Mr Turnbull reiterated today he had not asked for Mr Joyce’s resignation.